A trial looking at cisplatin, gemcitabine and sunitinib for advanced transitional cell cancer of the urinary system (SUCCINCT)

Cancer type:

Bladder cancer
Kidney cancer
Transitional cell cancer




Phase 2

This trial looked at a drug called sunitinib alongside chemotherapy for transitional cell cancer. It was for people whose cancer had grown into surrounding tissue (is locally advanced Open a glossary item) or had spread to another part of their body. The trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.

Transitional cells (also called urothelial cells) are a part of the urinary system. The urinary system filters waste products from the blood and makes urine. Transitional cells line the centre of each kidney (renal pelvis), the bladder and the tubes that drain urine from the kidneys to the bladder (ureters). So you can get transitional cell cancer in the kidney, bladder or ureters.

More about this trial

If transitional cell cancer is locally advanced or has spread to another part of your body, you may have chemotherapy. Doctors can treat transitional cell cancer with a combination of 2 chemotherapy drugs called cisplatin and gemcitabine. It is known as GC chemotherapy. But researchers want to improve treatment for this group of people. In this trial they looked at having a drug called sunitinib alongside GC chemotherapy.

Sunitinib is a type of biological therapy. It is a cancer growth blocker. It stops signals that cancer cells use to divide and grow.

The aims of the trial were to

  • Find out if this combination of drugs helps people with transitional cell cancer of the urinary system
  • Learn more about the side effects

Summary of results

The trial team found that adding sunitinib to cisplation and gemcitabine wasn’t a useful treatment and caused a lot of side effects.

63 people took part in the trial. Everyone taking part had cisplatin, gemcitabine and sunitinib.

6 months after treatment finished the trial team looked to see whose cancer had come back. They had results for 58 people. They found the cancer

  • Had come back in 28 people
  • Hadn’t come back in 30 people

They also looked at the average overall time people lived for after treatment. They found that this was about a year.

The main side effect was a drop in blood cells causing an increased risk of infection, bleeding problems, tiredness and breathlessness. In some people these side effects took a long time to get better. This resulted in most people having their treatment reduced or stopped.

The trial team concluded that having sunitinb alongside GC chemotherapy wasn’t a useful treatment for transitional cell cancer of the urinary system that had spread. And it caused too many side effects. Based on this, they do not recommend this combination is looked at in future trials for this type of cancer.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Thomas Geldart

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Cardiff University
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Wales Cancer Trials Unit



Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/07/044.

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 4009

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Cara took part in a clinical trial

A picture of Cara

"I am glad that taking part in a trial might help others on their own cancer journey.”

Last reviewed:

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